Posted on July 21st, 2009


Everytime Lankan political leaders have political capital, they almost always abuse it. Take the case of Mrs B in the 1970’s. She won a huge majority in 1970 and rushed to nationalise everything owned by the so called capitalist forces. At least that was within the power that she won a mandate from people. Worst, she brought onboard many close and distant relations to run the goverment apparatus. It was Ratwatte and Co . Needless to say her receipe pulled our 3rd world country to the 5th world. People had to line up for a simple loaf of bread from 5AM or wait in the mile long local co-opeartive line for a measure of dirty rice.

Thanks to her disastrous policies JR was swept to power with a monumental majority pushing the SLFP below the TULF. Jubilant JR went ahead and changed the constitution to an Executive Presidential model boasting about the power of the new office being only incapable of turning a man into a woman. Despite the boasting he had to leave Lanka in a total poilitical and social nightmare with JVP hammering away from the South and the LTTE hammering away from the North.

Sri Lankans were left bewildered trying to figure out what happened to their once peaceful dharmadeepa.

Brilliant and Shrewed Premadasa had a very dynamic and short 2 years before being blown off by Prabhakaran.

Luckiest ever Chandrika came from nowhere and ruled Lankan for 10 years  all the time  pushing to bring capitalist investers back – the very thing her mother destroyed 20 years prior. Breaking her major election pledge in 1994, she did not abolish the Executive Presidency but enjoyed every bit of its magnificient power. Her tenure was just ordinary with no major achivements including her failure to tame the tigers. In fairness to her she did not bring her kith and kin to run the country. She deserves some commendation for that.

So it is the turn of Prez. Rajapaksha. He carried out to 100% success his constitution duty to rid Lanka of terrorism. He did not do a favor to anybody but carried out one of his major responsibilities as President by eliminating the LTTE. A grateful nation will salute him, his brother and more importantly the foot soldiers who gave their last full measure of devotion to the motherland. The nation owe to the families of these fallen heros as they died for very little for their own.

Now that the administartion has enormous political capital with Presidents popularity sky high, this is the time to see if he too will be blinded by his power and popularity and abuse his immense power.

The signs are in the affirmative.  All his brothers are in key positions in the administration including the all powerful defence. Not a day goes by that one hears that a Rajapaksha brother is in the news. Together they control billions of our nation’s hard earned dollars. Well the President does not need to answer a soul for a good six years thanks to JR. So much about our glorious participatory democracy.

Wait a minute now. Lankan people only mandated Mahinda Rajapaksha to be President; not all of his family, right? 

Without us realizing it, the country is heading towards another dynasty like that of Bandaranaikes.

With Ranil lead opposition in doldrums, Lanka’s democracy is hopelessly on a very slippery slope.

This is exactly how leader after leader, party after party, UNP and the SLFP destroyed our once peaceful and beautiful country, still to be one of the poorest in the world,

Like a very educated professorial friend of mine told me today, given how our leaders misuse power and abuse democracy, we will never reach economic or social superiority for another 500 years. Not unless our leaders understand and respect the very fundemetals of democracy and civilized, just rule for their people.


  1. cassandra Says:

    Of the many things that have been said of those in authority, perhaps, nothing has been validated time and again than Lord Acton’s famous observation that ‘All power tends to corrupt and absolutle power corrupts absolutely’. There is no doubt this is true of the Rajapakses as it was of the Mrs B and JR – even of Prabhakaran! And for the worst excesses of the abuse of Presidential power, we can thank JR for his Constitution. What crimes these so called patriots have committed whilst maintaining there were doing it for our good. Some good!’

  2. Tissa Says:

    True, yes, all what you wrote is true.
    But politics all over is the same, is not it? it was a very old tradition. How did the word nepotism came in to English language? We had no equivalant word before before 1948, before UNP was formed. Then it was called the party of their kith and kin (Unge Naedaeyange Paksaya).

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